It’s an insider joke in my family that, no matter what hotel I’m staying at, someone always comes a-knockin’ on the door to my room.
When I’m trying to sleep. Even with a Do Not Disturb sign on the door handle.
It’s an industry-wide problem, and certainly not relegated to individual hotels. To counteract it, my husband Bill and I have taken to being ever-vigilant, and completing the following steps when staying overnight at hotels, in addition to displaying the DND sign on the door.
1). Leaving a big note on the floor outside the door, asking to please Do Not Disturb
3). Calling the front desk and asking that they put a DND on the phone
4). Unplugging the phone
5). Unplugging the clock where, typically, the alarm goes off in the middle of the night, as I was unaware it was set by a previous guest.
We may be going overboard – but I definitely know the advantages of sleep. To me, personally, there’s nothing like a nap – or a good night’s rest – and I could easily win the Olympics of sleeping. I’ve told hotel General Managers from Dallas to Dubai about the problems of staff overlooking the Do Not Disturb sign, and their response is always amazement: “And still they come?” they ask incredulously. Whether it’s Housekeeping or Maintenance, interrupting my sleep, or a guest from another room calling me, my Dreamland Time is typically frustrated.
That’s why I’m delighted to share some news about some hotels and resorts that are doing their part for World Sleep Day, March 15th. Westin Hotels Resorts has recognized the power of #JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) and announced its continued commitment to make it easy for travelers to reclaim time for their well-being routine while on the road. You may recall – Westin is a brand rooted in wellness dating back to the game-changing debut of the Westin Heavenly Bed nearly 20 years ago.
Beginning today through March 17th 2019, #JOMO doortags will be available at participating hotels around the world for guests to use, for the opportunity to receive specially-curated Sleep Well amenities. Global travelers will be able to experience the #JOMO doortags in Westin hotels in New York, Vancouver, Mexico City, Lima, Puerto Vallarta, Warsaw, Munich, Hamburg, Doha, Cape Town and Singapore, as well as at new Westin hotels in Hawaii, the Maldives and Australia.
Want those Zzzzs? The Westin evening menus may feature items such as grilled wild salmon with walnut quinoa; a micro-chopped turkey salad; poached eggs on asparagus with snap peas and shiitake mushrooms and bedtime snacks for guests like whole grain crackers with peanut butter; non-fat yogurt with granola; edamame and whole-wheat pretzels.
Generally, the menu items include ingredients with essential elements like tryptophan, magnesium, potassium, folate, serotonin and thiamine, which work together to prevent insomnia and reset sleep cycles, giving guests the chance to feel refreshed and energized in the morning.
All Westin hotels also offer a complimentary Sleep Well Lavender Balm bide amenity, infused with the calming essential oils of lavender and chamomile – the latest in a series of dreamy offerings that promise a better rest for travelers.
“Finally, sleep and self-care have become cool to talk about,” said Chris Heuisler, Global RunWestin Concierge, Westin Hotels Resorts. “Today’s over-scheduled and always-on culture has spurred a counter-movement among those who see the value in disconnecting and taking time back for well-being, starting with a good night’s sleep. Nearly 65% of people sleep fewer hours while on the road; so empowering travelers to embrace the ‘joy of missing out,’ sleep strong and rise better reinforces our commitment to guests’ well-being and the growing understanding that sleep impacts everything from the way you work out to business productivity and overall happiness.”
To ensure travelers take time for themselves on World Sleep Day, Westin hotels around the world offer experiences rooted in wellness as an alternative to the constant digital connectivity and bleary-eyedness that accompanies travel. For example:
The Westin Hilton Head Island boasts an Unplugged package in which guests have their in-room televisions disconnected; they also trade in their cell phones in exchange for bicycle rentals, a kayak tour and time at the spa;
The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver features a Liquid Yoga program atop floating aquamats during 60-minute vinyasa sessions, held in the hotel’s indoor pool to promote wellness through movement and stillness;
To promote restful and relaxing sleep, The Westin Riverfront Resort Spa Avon, Vail Valley offers guests Sound Therapy sessions featuring Himalayan singing bowls and light meditation.
“There is a direct correlation between your sleep and your overall well-being,” said Dr. Charles Morin, a sleep researcher and President of World Sleep Society. “And perhaps unexpectedly, quality sleep is also foundational for people to reap the benefits of fitness and is a necessary part of exercise recovery.”
Pack Your Satin Pillowcase
To make my actual sleeptime a better experience, when packing for a hotel stay, I always bring my own satin, or silk, pillowcase (which obviates facial wrinkles and is softer than cotton), earplugs, and of course, an eye mask. They are irreplaceable. (Especially the eye mask that says, “Beauty Queen.”)
These other sleep-inducing pamperings will also help you get your lights out.
At The Peninsula Chicago and The Peninsula New York, the Australian skincare line Subtle Energies, an Ayurvedic aromatherapy, natural skincare and wellness brand, made its U.S. debut. One of the treatments is called Subtle Energies Sleep Support Therapy, a two-hour therapy based on ancient practices to assist sleep concerns and insomnia, resulting in emotional and hormonal balance. The treatment features a full-body Blissful Marma Massage to release tension and bring the body’s rhythm back into balance, followed by a Facial Marma Massage that balances the emotions, releases stress and reduces anxiety. The mini Nasya (nasal oil application) is a balancing formula to help relieve physical, mental and emotional stress. The treatment concludes with Shirodhara, a powerful Ayurveda technique that activates the pineal gland to aid in the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin.
At the Carmel Valley Ranch, Carmel-By-The-Sea, Calif., resort guests battling jet lag or insomnia can take advantage of Spa Aiyana’s Hypno-Health Wellness services with Dr. Bee Epstein-Shepherd, who uses gentle hypnotherapy to promote deeper, sounder sleep. Travelers can de-stress within minutes thanks to an innovative treatment that promotes sleep wellness, relaxation and eases muscle tension. Dr. Bee even teaches self-hypnosis techniques, and guests can take home a recording of the session to continue their journey to better sleep.
Over on Oahu, at the Turtle Bay Resort, on the North Shore, you can take advantage of a Jet-Lag-Be-Gone Massage. This soothing, made-with-aloha aromatherapy treatment addresses fatigue, jet lag and overstimulation faster than you can say, “Slumber.” It begins with inhalation therapy featuring a collection of Essential Oil blends designed to re-sync the body’s Circadian Rhythm. A full body massage then calms the adrenal system and eases muscle soreness, leaving the mind, body and spirit reconnected and renewed. It gives new meaning to the phrase, “Warm welcome.”
At Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection, Calistoga, Calif., The Rest At Solage’s Mud Bar Bathouse, you can sink into the ultimate sensory experience with a state-of-the-art sound chairs. Listen to soothing harmonic music as its healing vibrations resonate through the chair into your entire body, promoting deep relaxation, perfect for the jet-lagged traveler.
No doubt, it’s the best seat in the house.
Gee, I’d like to finish that thought – but there’s someone knocking on my door.